Bayer to slash 12,000 jobs, drop brands in restructuring move

After a string of setbacks, Bayer AG will cut 12,000 jobs and shed several well-known brands in a bid to win back investors' trust, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The job cuts, which have been in the making for the last year under the code name "Super Bowl," will affect about 10 percent of the company's workforce of 118,200, the Journal reports.  Bayer plans to cut about 4,100 jobs as it integrates crops and seed giant Monsanto, more than 900 jobs in research and development, 360 through the closure of a production site in Germany and 5,500 to 6,000 jobs dealing with central corporate functions. Bayer plans to complete the job cuts by 2021.

Beyond the job cuts, Bayer also plans to sell its animal health business, Coppertone sunscreens and Dr. Scholl's foot care products. When the sales are finalized, Bayer would shed another 1,100 jobs

Bayer said the job cuts and planned sales would restructure Bayer to be a leader across all of its businesses.

"These changes are necessary and lay the foundation for Bayer to enhance its performance and agility," Bayer CEO Werner Baumann told the Journal.

The restructuring comes as the drugmaker faces falling sales of over-the-counter products and a dwindling portfolio of blockbuster medications. In the first nine months of 2018, Bayer's consumer health products saw sales decline by 0.4 percent, after also seeing sales drop in fiscal year 2017.

Adding to its headaches, Bayer faces nearly 10,000 lawsuits over weedkillersit acquired as part of its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto. The legal woes have upset some investors, who were skeptical about the deal from the beginning.

Bayer said it expects to save about $2.6 billion annually by 2022, once the restructuring activities are completed.

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